Our flaky, buttery pie crust is a delicious basis for pies, quiches, and pot pies. With only 3 ingredients plus water, this bulk pie crust recipe is all natural and contains none of the lard and preservatives found in most commercially prepared crusts. By making several at a time and freezing the dough, you can have the convenience of prepared crusts without the time investment each time you need one.
Preparing the Bulk Pie Crusts
The pie crust ingredients are simple: flour, butter, salt, and water. Start by mixing the salt into the flour.
Next, cut the butter in a little at at time. I use my universal stand mixer for this, but you can use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dough. The flour and butter mixture does not have to be completely uniform; it’s actually good to leave a few larger bits of butter mixed in.
When all the butter has been added and the dough looks course and crumbly, start adding the water a little at a time, mixing either with your hands or, if using a mixer, pulsing on high. If your dough starts to get greasy because the butter is melting, place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before working with it further.
When the dough starts to clump together, turn it out onto a floured surface and separate it in half, then separate each half into thirds. Form each section into thick circles.
Freezing the Bulk Pie Crusts
At this point you can freeze the dough, or you can go ahead and roll it out into flat circles ready for a pie plate before freezing (I do not do this). If you want to do that extra step, place each section of crust on lightly floured parchment paper to roll it out, then, starting at one end and moving toward the other, roll the parchment paper up gently with the pie crust inside.
If you are freezing without rolling, place each section of dough between parchment paper and freeze in a freezer container. With the parchment paper between each crust, you should be able to easily remove one pie crust section at a time when you are ready to use them. If you do not have parchment paper, you can individually freeze the crusts before combining in a freezer container.
If you are rolling first, place the rolled pie crusts on a cookie sheet or other flat surface and freeze for a couple of hours. Once the crusts are individually frozen, you can combine them and place in a freezer container or wrap with freezer paper.
If you are struggling with the consistency of your pie crust, check out these tips from professional baker Erin McDowell.
Bulk Pie Crust
- 6 cups flour
- 1 lb. butter, softened (4 sticks)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups cold water
- Mix flour and salt.
- If mixing by hand, use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in butter a little at a time until mixture is crumbly. If using a stand mixer, use the pulse function to mix. The flour and butter mixture does not have to be completely uniform; it's actually good to leave a few larger bits of butter mixed in.
- Add water a little at a time and mix until mixture forms a ball.
- If your dough starts to get greasy because the butter is melting, place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before working with it further.
- Add water as necessary to get correct texture, but try to add as little water as possible. You only need enough water so that the dough holds together; the final product will not look like a smooth ball.
- Divide dough in half, then divide each half into 3 equal parts.
- At this point roll each section out to be ready for a pie plate before freezing, or you can freeze it in discs to be rolled before use. If you want to do the extra step of rolling it out, place each section of crust on lightly floured parchment paper and roll it out to your preferred size, then starting at one end of the parchment paper, gently roll it up with the pie crust inside.
- If you are freezing without rolling, form each section into a slightly flattened disc and place parchment paper between each disc of dough. Freeze in a freezer container.
- If you rolled the pie crusts out and rolled them up in parchment paper, place them on a cookie sheet or other flat surface and freeze for a couple of hours. Once the crusts are individually frozen, you can combine them and place them together in a freezer container or wrap them with freezer paper and freeze.
- The dough can be mixed by hand or with a sturdy stand mixer.
- Nutrition data is per pie crust.
- Freshly ground whole wheat flour may be used in this recipe instead of white flour at a one to one ratio.
- To bake an unfilled crust, cook at 475ºF for about 8 minutes. For filled crusts, bake according to recipe instructions.
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